IMDb > Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence
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Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) More at IMDbPro »

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Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence -- Criterion trailer

Overview

User Rating:
7.3/10   8,484 votes »
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Down 38% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Laurens Van der Post (novel)
Nagisa Ôshima (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 September 1983 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
Java, 1942 - A clash of cultures, a test of the human spirit.
Plot:
In 1942 British soldier Jack Celliers comes to a Japanese prison camp. The camp is run by Yonoi, who has a firm belief in discipline... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won BAFTA Film Award. Another 8 wins & 6 nominations See more »
NewsDesk:
(55 articles)
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User Reviews:
enters the heart and stays there forever See more (64 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

David Bowie ... Maj. Jack 'Strafer' Celliers

Tom Conti ... Col. John Lawrence

Ryûichi Sakamoto ... Capt. Yonoi

Takeshi Kitano ... Sgt. Gengo Hara (as Takeshi)

Jack Thompson ... Group Capt. Hicksley
Johnny Okura ... Kanemoto (as Johnny Ohkura)

Alistair Browning ... De Jong
James Malcolm ... Celliers' Brother
Chris Broun ... Celliers aged 12
Yûya Uchida ... Commandant of Military Prison
Ryûnosuke Kaneda ... President of the Court
Takashi Naitô ... Lt. Iwata
Tamio Ishikura ... Prosecutor
Rokko Toura ... Interpreter
Kan Mikami ... Lt. Ito
Yûji Honma ... Pfc. Yajima
Daisuke Iijima ... Cpl. Ueki
Hideo Murota ... New Camp Commandant
Barry Dorking ... Chief Doctor
Geoff Clendon ... Australian Doctor
Grant Bridger ... P.O.W. Officer
Richard Adams ... P.O.W
Geoff Allen ... P.O.W
Michael Baxter-Lax ... P.O.W.
Mark Berg ... P.O.W
Marcus Campbell ... P.O.W
Colin Francis ... P.O.W
Richard Hensby ... P.O.W
Richard Hoare ... P.O.W
Martin Ibbertson ... P.O.W
Rob Jayne ... P.O.W
Richard Mills ... P.O.W
Mark Penrose ... P.O.W
Arthur Ranford ... P.O.W
Steve Smith ... P.O.W
Stephen Taylor ... P.O.W
Richard Zimmerman ... P.O.W
Ian Miller ... English Guard
Don Stevens ... Pastor
Yoichi Iijima ... Japanese Soldier
Satoshi Ito ... Japanese Soldier
Masaki Kusakabe ... Japanese Soldier
Kunihide Kuruma ... Japanese Soldier
Hiroshi Mikami ... Japanese Soldier
Akihiro Masuda ... Japanese Soldier
Tokuhisa Masuda ... Japanese Soldier
Takeshi Nagasawa ... Japanese Soldier
Takashi Odashima ... Japanese Soldier
Masanori Okada ... Japanese Soldier
Shoetsu Sato ... Japanese Soldier
Rintaro Shibata ... Japanese Soldier
Masamichi Shibasaki ... Japanese Soldier
Kaname Shimura ... Japanese Soldier
Kenzo Shirahama ... Japanese Soldier
Hisao Takeda ... Japanese Soldier
Hidenobu Togo ... Japanese Soldier
Atsuo Yamashita ... Japanese Soldier
Heiwa Yoshihara ... Japanese Soldier
Takeshi Yu ... Japanese Soldier
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Rex Wilmshurst ... P.O.W.

Directed by
Nagisa Ôshima 
 
Writing credits
Laurens Van der Post (novel "The Seed and The Sower")

Nagisa Ôshima (screenplay) &
Paul Mayersberg (screenplay)

Produced by
Terry Glinwood .... executive producer
Masato Hara .... executive producer
Joyce Herlihy .... associate producer
Geoffrey Nethercott .... executive producer
Eiko Oshima .... executive producer
Larry Parr .... associate producer
Jeremy Thomas .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ryûichi Sakamoto 
 
Cinematography by
Tôichirô Narushima (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Tomoyo Oshima 
 
Production Design by
Shigemasa Toda 
 
Art Direction by
Andrew Sanders 
 
Makeup Department
Antony Clavet .... makeup supervisor
Glenis Daly .... hair stylist
Bryony Hurden .... makeup assistant
Robern Pickering .... chief makeup artist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jonty Barraud .... second assistant director
Geoffrey Hill .... third assistant director
Lee Tamahori .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Masaru Arakawa .... set dresser
Lyn Bergquist .... property buyer
Kyoichi Hashimoto .... construction manager
Tetsuya Hataya .... assistant art director
Trevor Haysom .... stand-by props assistant
Ryoichi Kamon .... construction technician
Masaaki Kobayashi .... construction technician
Bryan McDonald .... property assistant
Kazumasa Nomura .... assistant art director
Chris Paulger .... stand-by props
Pam Sebold .... property assistant
Yutaka Wakase .... construction technician
Shoichi Yasuda .... property master
 
Sound Department
Eugene Arts .... boom operator
Akira Honma .... dubbing mixer
Akira Honma .... sound effects
Mikio Mori .... stereo sound consultant: Dolby
Mike Westgate .... sound recordist
 
Special Effects by
Kevin Chisnall .... special effects supervisor
 
Visual Effects by
Shulamit Levin .... digital restoration (2007 restored version)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Rick Allender .... clapper loader
Ian Beale .... electrician
Dennis Cullen .... grip
Tex Foot .... generator operator
Ken George .... still photographer
Brian Harris .... key grip
Don Jowsey .... best boy
Geoff Maine .... electrician
Warren Mearns .... gaffer
Brendon Mune .... electrician
Jeff O'Donnell .... grip
Ian Philp .... electrician
Andy Roelants .... focus puller
Hiroaki Sugimura .... camera operator
Takashi Ueno .... still photographer
 
Casting Department
Diana Rowan .... casting: New Zealand
Takashi Ueno .... casting: Japan
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Norman Forsey .... wardrobe assistant
Leslie Gilda .... wardrobe assistant
Kazuo Matsuda .... wardrobe master
Christine West .... wardrobe supervisor
 
Editorial Department
Kimie Kawagishi .... negative cutter
Kenichi Takashima .... assistant film editor
 
Transportation Department
Robin Allen-Paris .... transportation manager (as Robin Allen)
 
Other crew
Vivien Bridgewater .... production secretary
Sevilla Delofski .... assistant to producer
Didi Dickson .... interpreter
Mitsue Fujita .... assistant production accountant
Ralph Gardiner .... armorer
Tony Hedges .... production accountant
Margaret Hilliard .... production coordinator
Raijin Nakahata .... continuity
Lynne Newport .... assistant production accountant
Susan Nicholas .... nurse
Roger Pulvers .... assistant to director
Roger Pulvers .... dialogue coach
Takashi Shirai .... location manager
Kuniko Usui .... production assistant
Kansai Yamamoto .... concept designer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence" - Australia (DVD box title), Australia (DVD box title), International (English title) (DVD box title)
See more »
Runtime:
123 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Debut film performance of Ryûichi Sakamoto.See more »
Goofs:
Factual errors: In the final scene in the prison cell, the cross belt of Lt Col Lawrence's Sam Browne is fitted back to front.See more »
Quotes:
[first lines]
Sgt. Gengo Hara:[in Japanese] Wake up, Lawrence.
Colonel Lawrence:[in Japanese] What is it? Why so early, Sergeant Hara?
Sgt. Gengo Hara:[in Japanese] Hurry up!
Group Capt. Hicksley:What does he want?
Colonel Lawrence:[in English] I'll find out?
Sgt. Gengo Hara:[in Japanese] What?
Group Capt. Hicksley:You don't have to take orders from this man, you know, Lawrence.
Colonel Lawrence:Well, I'm the liaison officer, so I'm liaising.
Sgt. Gengo Hara:[in Japanese] What did he say?
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in 100 Years of Japanese Cinema (1995) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
Forbidden ColoursSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
33 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
enters the heart and stays there forever, 25 December 2001
Author: rogierr from Amsterdam, Netherlands

Do not mistake this masterpiece for a Capra Christmas movie. It is a war film without action (but with atrocities) that opens your eyes and is incredibly versatile and therefore applicable to any war that knows a winner and a loser.

The story is completely about perspectives and motives: power-madness and despair. Some might find MCML hard to stomach while watching, some afterwards. But I say you have to watch it through to appreciate the concepts fully. Moreover, I say you shouldn't vote it before you've seen all of it; that way the rating wouldn't be as low as 6.9. MCML is one of those films that surpass movies like 'Platoon' (Stone, 1986) on any level. Added to all that, it's also beautifully shot by cinematographer Toichiro Naroshima (Double Suicide).

One of the best scores in history of cinema by Ryuichi Sakamoto (also 'Wild Palms' and 'Sheltering Sky'), who not only provides it with his strokes of musical genius, but also plays an important role: the androgynous and curious captain in contrast to the virility of Takeshi Kitano (dir and acted Violent Cop, Brother, Hana Bi) the self-confident and straight-forward sergeant. If you've seen any of Kitano's movies, his character in MCML will gain from that. I guess director Nagisa Oshima (Naked Youth, Gohatto) likes to play with feminine and masculine characters. David Bowie fits in brilliantly from that perspective. His character is the most complex and worked out the deepest. My opinion is that this is his best and most intriguing role so far ('the Man who fell to earth' came close). Conti ('If we'll do it, he'll do it') plays a key figure between the Japanese and the POW.

On which side to lose a war? When to intimidate and when to be intimidated?

Which side are you on anyway? 'There are times victory is very hard to take' - Colonel John Lawrence. Not without reason sergeant Gengo Hara says 'Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence' not: 'Merry Christmas Colonel Lawrence'. Are you intimidated by an initiation? Or still not when you're POW and the only free part of your body is your head? These are questions the film raises. Unfortunately I can't compare the film to the book, because I haven't read it. MCML is immensely powerful, and really underrated. 10/10

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (64 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Where was the budget for COMPLETE subtitles? fsb_mc
What Exactly Happened to His Brother? scndform
Celliers: British or Australian? Desert-Djinn
'Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas, Mr Lawrence! gubar
This film Msubills
Beware the UK Bluray/Dvd. shazgwinn
See more »

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